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LINGUIST List 20.2929

Mon Aug 31 2009

Qs: Tense Selection in English Conditionals

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        1.    Les Zsoldos, Tense Selection in English Conditionals

Message 1: Tense Selection in English Conditionals
Date: 29-Aug-2009
From: Les Zsoldos <lgzhknu.ac.kr>
Subject: Tense Selection in English Conditionals
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In English we can classify conditionals as Types 0, 1, 2, and 3. For
example, we have:

If I go to bed late, I wake up late. 0
If I go to bed late, I'll wake up late. 1
If I went to bed late, I'd wake up late. 2
If I'd gone to bed late, I'd have woken up late. 3

However, people often use structures such as ''Would you mind if I smoke''?
rather than ''Would you mind if I smoked?'' Why is this? Is present tense
OK here? Is it a case of confusion where present should be with ''do you
mind'' as in ''Do you mind if I smoke?''

Les Zsoldos

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

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